Share This Article

After conducting an indecisive foray into Virginia, Lt. Gen. Charles Lord Cornwallis retired to Yorktown on August 2, 1781. On August 16, General Washington and Maj. Gen. Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, began marching their Continental and French armies from New York to Virginia. The arrival of a French fleet, and its victory over a British fleet in Chesapeake Bay, sealed the trap. On October 19, 1781, Cornwallis sent Brig. Gen. Charles O’Hara (standing) to surrender his sword. At Washington’s behest, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln (center, on white horse) accepted it. Washington himself is seen in the right background of The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown by artist John Trumbull.

Print: United States Capitol Art Collection